An Islamabad district and sessions court denied the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s motion to suspend the non-bailable arrest warrants issued in the Toshakhana case.
In an earlier reserved judgment, Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal held that an undertaking could not be utilized to postpone the warrants.
During earlier sessions, Judge Iqbal declared that if the PTI leader showed himself in, he would halt the Islamabad police from attempting to arrest Imran.
At the hearing of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) reference, which sought criminal charges against the former prime minister for concealing information concerning Toshakhana presents, these remarks were made.
The arrest orders for Imran were reissued by the judge earlier this week and were non-bailable. The judge instructed the capital city’s police to bring Imran before the court by March 18.
When the Islamabad police arrived at Imran’s home in Zaman Park, however, they were met with opposition from PTI members. Other law enforcement agencies joined the Islamabad police in their two-day confrontation. After the judicial intervention, peace was restored.
A district and sessions court in Islamabad resumed hearing the case earlier today. Imran’s attorneys, Khawaja Haris Ahmed and Fadal Chaudhry were in court.
Once the judge questioned why the former prime minister was “resisting” at the start of the hearing, Haris questioned whether it was necessary to “arrest Imran and then bring him before the court.”
The judge reiterated that Imran must appear in court and added that, under the law, the PTI leader must cooperate with the police and not defy them. He remarked that if the warrants had been subject to bail, there would have been no problems.
Haris informed the court, however, that the warrants were not subject to bail and read the order from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) requiring Imran to sign an undertaking and appear in court on March 18.
The attorney stated that the judge might accept the undertaking if he was “satisfied” and that the PTI’s leader will appear in court on March 18.
Haris urged that the warrant be rescinded because the situation in Lahore was deteriorating, and Iqbal questioned why Imran was refusing to comply as the situation deteriorated.
The attorney asserted that the current administration was responsible for millions of dollars in damages. According to him, the PTI leader was willing to make an undertaking, and a surety has been submitted to the court. But, then, he questioned if the court would maintain its hard stance regarding the arrest warrant without bail.
The judge emphasized that Imran could appear before the court in person because an arrest order was in force.
Harris asserted that Imran “intended” to appear in court and was not requesting a unique circumstance, but he questioned whether arrest warrants were necessary for non-bailable offenses.
He noted that the court might accept the undertaking and revoke the warrants, or it could accept the surety bond and issue arrest warrants with bailable conditions. Imran wished to give an undertaking, and the PTI’s attorney said he would appear in court on March 18.
The judge commented that attempts to execute the order had cost millions of rupees, making it the “most costly” arrest warrant ever. He stated that what occurred in Zaman Park was not intended.
The attorney for Imran insisted that the court rescind the non-bailable arrest warrant and serve notices and hearings on the ECP attorney.
Legally, the former premier should have been brought directly to court, and he could not have been harassed during his court appearance, the judge stated, adding that he would prevent the Islamabad police from detaining the PTI chairman if he turned himself in.
Pakistan, the judge added, is a developing nation that should not spend millions of dollars on an arrest warrant. Instead of waiting until the warrant’s expiration date to take action, he said, the individual should have been arrested and brought before a judge.
He continued by stating that the cops could not only remain inactive. Imran could have held a peaceful protest, then why did he refuse legally issued warrants? The PTI leader may have asked.
In criminal processes, “arrest warrants are routinely issued and then withdrawn when the accused is shown in court,” he explained.
The secretariat police and the ECP have received a court summons from the judge. The hearing was then postponed until noon.
At the resumption of the hearing, Khawaja Haris, Lawyer Gohar, and a member of the Islamabad police law stood before the court.
According to the public prosecutor, the SHO who was supposed to execute the warrant was still in Lahore.
In addition, the government’s counsel requested that the hearing be postponed until 2:30 p.m., as the ECP attorney was now at Peshawar High Court (PHC) and would arrive at that time.
Haris stated that he was assuring the judge that Imran would be in court and again requested that the arrest warrant be reviewed. The head of the PTI offered an assurance on Imran’s behalf that he would come on March 18 as he had promised.
He continued by stating that the IHC had indicated that the sessions court might accept the promise and the surety bond. Finally, Harris emphasized that while his team agreed with the judge’s judgments, they did not concur with dismissing the case.
He highlighted that the warrant should be temporarily suspended rather than revoked and that there was “no question” that Imran would not appear in court in two days.
The ECP attorney and police officers appeared before the judge after the second restart of the session.
Dr. Akbar Nasir Khan, Inspector General (IG) of Islamabad, claimed to be in court because the SHO was still in Lahore. He continued by stating that every time a warrant is issued, the police adhere to the law and that the last time the Supt. of Police visited him, Imran had posted bail.
Nasir Khan stated that none of the police officers were armed and that he spoke on behalf of the sixty-five police officers who were injured and hospitalized. According to him, deputy inspector general officers were admitted to hospitals.
He claimed that the DIG operations had a fractured leg and other officers had fractured arms. Khan pleaded with the court to offer “the same relief to the 220 million people” that the culprit, in this case, was receiving, and “he left the decision to the court.”
When asked how much property was damaged, the IG of Islamabad replied that eleven vehicles and one water cannon were destroyed. He continued by saying that the Lahore police were assessing the remaining damage.
The IG of Lahore then provided the court with information regarding the specifics of the losses.
According to the ECP attorney, the PTI head has submitted three applications since the warrant was issued, and the court order was lawful.
The maltreatment of PTI staff or the police, according to Imran’s attorney, should be addressed in Lahore because it has no immediate relevance to this application or case. However, he continued the IHC and sent the case to the court.
Haris said that warrants were canceled daily if the accused appeared in court, to which the judge responded, “if there was an appearance, warrants were canceled.”
The attorney asserted that the IHC had not ruled that Imran Khan was obligated to appear in court but that the trial court must investigate the undertaking. He emphasized that Imran would be in court on March 18, as needed.
Before March 18, he pleaded with the court to prevent Imran’s arrest. However, the court postponed rendering a ruling after hearing arguments from both parties.